Nigeria’s rail line would cover the Western corridor of the country traversing nine states and the Federal Capital Territory, Abuja, is expected to be completed in 36 months.
The loan agreement reached between Nigeria and China for the project that spans a total of 1,402 kilometres would be completed as soon.
Mr. Chibuike Amaechi, Minister of Transportation, said, “This rail line, a total of 1,402 km which covers the Western corridor of Nigeria traverses nine states of our federation and the Federal Capital Territory, Abuja, and is expected to be completed within three years if the expected loan agreement with China EXIM Bank for co-financing is reached as expected.”
Speaking at Forum of China-Africa Transportation Convention in Beijing, China, entitled, “Better Transportation, Better World,” Amaechi explained that the Lagos-Kano railway project was awarded to China Civil Engineering and Construction Company, CCECC and co-financed by China EXIM Bank.
According to him, the project will serve as an important distribution corridor between the major seaport of Lagos and the hinterlands, noting that the investment and partnering was imperative in our cooperation with the Peoples Republic of China to strengthen Nigeria’s transport infrastructure and contribute towards building a competitive economy.
“Nigeria is also partnering other private sector investors, foreign and domestic, including the consortium led by the United States General Electric.
“The successful realization of these projects and their operations will result in attainment of high level of intermodal transport system,” he said.
The Ministry of Transportation recently signed the commercial contract for the remaining 901 km Ibadan- Kano stretch and the associated branch lines from Oshogbo to Ado Ekiti, South West Nigeria following the completion of the first segment of the line, Abuja-Kaduna railway project of 186.5 km.
Amaechi said that the completion of the Abuja-Kaduna project had tremendously improved citizens’ mobility between the important Northern commercial city of Kaduna and the Federal Capital, Abuja, adding that the project had been completed and commercial train operation has commenced since July 2016 conveying close to a million passengers.
While the construction of the second segment which is 162 km Lagos-Ibadan double track rail line is ongoing, Amaechi said that Nigerian government and other African governments had put effort at sourcing financiers for development of critical infrastructure especially its transport infrastructure-railways and port.